Our recent posts have been about our feelings, thoughts, and goals for our son as we sent him off to college.
In the midst of all of that, on Monday, high school started for our 11th grade daughter. She is a terrific young lady who has her head on straight. She approaches her school work in a more dogmatic routine and scheduled fashion than her brother. Her grades are actually better at this point. In addition, she is a pretty good athlete. Her nickname is “Sweedee”, spelled just like that! By the way, when nobody is listening that would embarrass her, she calls me “Daddykins.” I love my nickname!
I know that she is searching, just like her parents, for that place of peace, comfort, and acceptance associated with the changed dynamics of our household. She actually slept in her brother’s bed the first night we were back at home. She has had periodic meltdowns, only to be followed by moments of joy and optimism for her brother.
On the ride back from taking him to college, she was curiously upbeat, I think both in an effort to calm her parents down (particularly me) and to also analyze her own place in all of this. She spoke of her own observations related to her most recent, yet brief, encounter with the “college experience” as she helped to move him in.
“I am happy and excited for him and I am happy and excited for me too. This is a big year for our family and I will be going to college soon.” She said this from her reclined seat in the second row of the van. These words burned through me like a hot knife in butter.
The girls varsity soccer season opener was yesterday. We had to have a lengthy post game analysis of how she played on the ride home. I watched her come home and fire up the laptop to do her homework. I cooked dinner and her mother and I both did some work. We all actually got texts from our son, his sister about the soccer game, and me well……..money. Things are beginning to return to whatever sense of normalcy we will reach in our household.
In the midst of all of this family upheaval, I recently made my daughter a promise. I assured her that no matter how sad or mixed with emotions I may be about her brother going off to college; I owed her the same love and attention that she is accustomed to and deserves from her father as she embarks upon these new adventures and frontiers in her own life. It is after all what a father is supposed to do, and she is entitled to and continues to earn nothing less from me.
I already know that one of the places that we will be visiting during her upcoming spring break is Purdue University. Are you kidding me? It is hard to conceive that in a couple of short years; we will be taking her off to college and afterwards searching for yet another new beginning on the ride home.
No matter how nervous or disconcerting these thoughts may be to me, I will do my best to stay positive, helpful, and loving to my daughter. After all, she deserves all of that and more, let me say again, it is what good fathers are supposed to do.
However, more important than anything else, I made a promise to my Sweedee.
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